Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Andrew Johnson

SWQ Branch President

Director Operations, CEO Designate, Somerset Regional Council

SWQ Branch committee

Dereck Sanderson (Vice President)

District Director (Darling Downs), 

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Luke Tanner

Manager Works, Goondiwindi Regional Council

Shelley Burchett

Assets Manager, Proterra Group

Seren McKenzie

Director Infrastructure Services, Southern Downs Regional Council

Maddy Stahlhut (Ambassador)

Graduate Engineer


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SWQ Branch President's Report
March 2020

We did it again – a new record for an IPWEAQ branch conference! 195 delegates joined us in Stanthorpe which was looking renewed after much-needed rain.

Seren McKenzie, IPWEAQ Past President opened the conference program with a presentation on what to do when unprecedented drought affects the region and over 5,000 residents. Seren’s paper is published on pages 31-39 of the journal and is also available in the IPWEAQ Knowledge Centre.

Congratulations to John Tannock who won the Best Paper award for his presentation on the story behind the installation of a monument in Papua New Guinea to commemorate the Battle for Oivi/Gorari in November 1942. While most of us had never heard of it, it is recognised globally as one of the most significant land battles in the Pacific theatre in WW2. John will present his paper at the 2020 IPWEAQ Annual Conference to be held in Cairns, 10-12 November and I’m sure you

will enjoy it as much as we did.

As usual, our successful events are successful because of the commitment of the organisations that support IPWEAQ year after year. GenEng is one of those businesses, which kindly sponsored our conference dinner at the state-of-the-art $8.5 million education and training facility on the campus of Stanthorpe State High School. This facility offers training in viticulture, oenology, tourism, hospitality and business, and we can confirm that the future of fine dining in our regions is in great hands. Thank you to all the students who prepared our dinner and served us on the night – we certainly enjoyed the product of your vineyards!

Proterra Group is another business that doesn’t hesitate when it comes to supporting IPWEAQ and our sector and supported the 2020 SWQ Branch conference as our overall conference sponsor. The Proterra Group also contributed to our conference program with presentations from Shelley Burchett on CCTV stormwater inspections and Michael Shellshear, our reigning Young Engineer of the Year, who joined the panel session on the challenges of technical governance in local government.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from A&M Civil Contracting, we were able to auction several prizes to raise funds for our President's Charity, Rural Aid. Thank you to everyone who participated and to all winning bidders including Ray Hawkins who took home two of the prizes.

And many thanks also to our other sponsors: Brandon & Associates, GHD and Shepherd – your ongoing support of our community is much appreciated!

Thanks also to our exhibitors for offering delegates an opportunity to view and experience what is available to improve our communities. We also appreciate the prizes donated by exhibitors for our charity raffle.

A total $4,000 was raised for Rural Aid from our charity auction and exhibitor raffle and a generous donation from Michael Kinion.

We were also delighted to present gifts to members who had achieved a milestone IPWEAQ membership this year including: Mike Brady (25 years), David Bell and David Jackson (15 years), David Donohue (10 years) and Luke Tanner (5 years). Thank you for being a part of our community!

Andrew Johnson

SWQ Branch President

Madison Stahlhut

IPWEAQ Ambassador, SWQ

Maddy has just started her career with GHD in Toowoomba after undertaking an internship with Toowoomba Regional Council. Maddie wants to motivate young women and men to become involved in engineering and showcase the benefits of what an engineering career in public works can offer.